Wednesday night, my wife and I decided to try Catch 22 for a night out. The newly revamped restaurant at Mandurah’s Dolphin Quay boasts an impressive location looking out onto the Marina. The new chic modern look dining area is now segregated from a more informal drinks lounge. Stylewise, the two areas don’t blend, a chic modern dining area and an old world 1800′s look to the drinks lounge. What’s it all about ?
Wednesday evening, hump day and only a few diners – strange I thought. Nonetheless we proceeded into the restaurant and was met by the Maître d who showed us to a table and proceeded to advise us of the specials even before we were seated. His final words “the crab linguine is sold out”. Maybe this was a sign and we should have made a retreat ?
The menu however is as enticing as one would wish for, when the restaurants itself suggests “…one of the south west’s finest restaurants”. For entrees we shared the duck liver pate with orange star anise jelly, potato crisps, water crackers, caperberries, and cornichons and I ordered the Salmon Tartar complete with wasabi avocado mousse, coriander, spring onion, chilli, lime, salmon caviar, potato crisps and drizzled with a soy mirin dresing.
The entrees arrived, beautifully presented and as described in the menu. Pleasing to the eye, neatly plated, balanced in appearance, colourful….. but bland. The duck pate was exactly that, duck pate without the zing. The salmon looked better than it tasted, again missing that kick that should have lifted it with the ingredients used. My wasabi mousse, was like processed avocado, with a strange taste from the wasabi then soured by the dressing resulting in a confused green mess on my plate.
Not a bad effort for the starter, a good bit of creativity, but lacking seasoning and a few flavour balances. Mirin in its uncooked state is too sharp and acidic to be used in a dressing. Mirin is better suited in a cooking application and not as part of a dressing or simple seasoning.
Our main courses were the Szechwan Salt and Pepper Squid, coriander, mint and cucumber side salad with a sweet chilli sauce. First things first, before you print your menu, get someone to proof read your menu. Tartar is spelt tartare and Szechwan is spelt Szechuan ! The squid was again, just squid with a most unusual coating that felt gritty in the mouth. So much so that regrettably I did leave some of mine behind as it distracted so significantly from the squid. My side salad was simply coriander and mint leaves, inedible in that quantity but added a pleasant look to the dish. My wife’s main was the porterhouse steak with horseradish mash, creamed spinach, onion tomato jam, and red wine jus. Hard to beat a steak and mash combination and the steak was cooked perfectly as requested.
Total bill for 2 entrees, 2 mains and 2 beers – $125.